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The Seattle Mariners (38-42) chased Tampa Bay Rays (57-28) LHP ace Shane McClanahan after 3 innings by tagging him for 4 ERs Friday in the Rays-Mariners series opener.
But, Tampa chipped away at the lead, tying the 4-4 in the 6th before blowing it open late. The Rays scored 11 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to win 15-4 Friday. At least six Tampa batters had multi-hit games and the Rays hit 6 HRs.
Seattle turns to RHP George Kirby (6-7, 3.26 ERA) to snap its 3-game losing skid. Tampa gives power-throwing RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-1, 4.45 ERA) that start Saturday.
Kirby has some of the best command in MLB and his FIP (“fielding independent pitching”) is the exact same as his ERA (3.26). According to Statcast, Kirby has the best BB% in baseball. Kirby leads MLB in Location+, per FanGraphs.
Glasnow returned at the end of May after spending most of the last two seasons on the IL. His 2023 basic stats aren’t exactly eye-popping. But, Glasnow has a career-best swinging-strike and contact rates, according to FanGraphs.
Furthermore, Glasnow still has some of the best stuff in MLB. Glasnow’s extension is in the 99th percentile of baseball, his fastball spin is in the 91st percentile, and his fastball velocity is in the 85th percentile, per Statcast.
Rays vs. Mariners (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- First pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET.
- Ballpark: T-Mobile Park in Seattle
- Series: Tampa leads 1-0.
- Season to date: My MLB 2023 record is 52-55 and my bankroll is -6.85 units (u).
Tampa Bay plays in the best division in baseball, the AL East, and crushes opponents out of division. The Rays have an MLB-best 40-18 straight up (SU) record when playing non-AL East squads.
Plus, Tampa is 4-2 SU in Glasnow’s six starts this seasons. Those two losses were to the 2nd-place Baltimore Orioles and perennial powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers in Glasnow’s 1st start of the year.
Glasnow’s last outing was his best. The Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 3-1 at home June 25th. He struck out 12 Royals and allowed just 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB. For me, Glasnow is a top 5-10 starter in MLB when healthy and he’s getting closer to 100%.
Also, Tampa’s lineup rakes righties. According to FanGraphs, the Rays lead MLB in wRC+, are 2nd in both wOBA and ISO and 8th in hard-hit rate facing righties.
The Mariners are league-average or worse in wRC+, wOBA, and hard-hit rate. Moreover, Seattle’s lineup is 20th in WAR, 22nd in wRC+, 24th in wOBA, and 19th in K% over the last seven days, per FanGraphs.
For what it’s worth, the Rays opened as slight ‘dogs (+100) and are slight favorites (-115) on Saturday afternoon ET. I’m more willing to follow MLB regular-season line moves since square money isn’t betting the Rays-Mariners game in July.
Finally, Seattle’s bullpen has been better this season but Tampa’s bullpen had a better June. Last month, the Mariners’ relievers were 26th in FIP and 26th in WAR. Whereas the Rays’ relievers in tied for 8th in FIP and 5th in WAR in June.
BET: 1.15u on Rays (-115) moneyline at DraftKings
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